Enchantment with Guy Kawasaki

Enchantment by Guy KawasakiMaybe you haven’t heard of Guy Kawasaki.

I suppose it’s possible – you might have been living under a rock for the last couple of decades. Maybe you haven’t heard of The Art of the Start, or Reality Check, or Alltop.com, or Garage Technology Ventures.

But odds are that you have.

What you might not know, though, is that he’s got a new book out today, called Enchantment.

It’s a good book – at least that’s what Sir Richard Branson thinks. And so does Steve Wosniak, Robert Scoble, Bob Cialdini, Phil Zimbardo, and lots of other impressive names that are on the back cover. Oh, and so do I.

I read the review copy that Guy sent me, and liked it enough to chase him down for an interview (I didn’t have to chase very hard – he’s a really nice Guy). ;)

Here it is, 36 minutes for your listening pleasure (seriously – he’s that much fun to listen to!):

Enchantment Interview with Guy Kawasaki

Click here to download the transcript.

Here’s the full transcript:

Danny: Hey Guy, how are you?

Guy: Hi. Fine, thank you.

Danny: I want to thank you for taking the time to be on this call. I really appreciate it.

Guy: Where are you?

Danny: We’re based out of Montreal.

Guy: Oh, so it’s really late there, sorry!

Danny: Oh it’s pretty late, but no, it’s perfectly alright.

Guy: Okay, well it’s easier for me than you!

Danny: I’m thrilled to be on the call so it’s perfectly great.

Guy: My pleasure.

Danny: Guy, I have a question for you, before we jump into this there is something I’ve been wanting to ask you.

Guy: Yeah?

Danny: In the book and elsewhere you mention how passionate you are about hockey.

Guy: Yeah…

Danny: Now we’re based out of Montreal like I just said and we’re hockey central, and I have never been able to get excited about the game. I joke sometimes that they’re going to revoke my passport.

Guy: You must be Australian!

Danny: I’m Canadian, but barely, right. So you grew up in Hawaii and that’s not really a hockey central place the way Montreal is, so how did that happen?

Guy: Well it was a strange quirk of fate. Basically my kids decided to take it up and my wife told me that I should take it up too, because you need to like bond with your kids, you know? So now I play more than they do, and I love it more than they do. So, I play hockey a lot, like in the last 24 hours, I’ve played three times.

Danny: That’s fantastic!

Guy: Well it can be. I’m not trying to tell you I’m good, I’m just saying I play it a lot. There’s a difference.

Danny: Well, as long as you enjoy it right, that’s what matters.

Guy: That’s true, that’s true. I do enjoy it. I will tell you that hockey is the only thing that I’m not good at that I love. How’s that? You can easily love something you’re good at right?

Danny: It’s a lot easier sure, but if you really love it then eventually you get good.

Guy: Ahh, okay, I’ll check back with you on that.

Danny: We’ll check back in a few years and see where you are. That’s really cool you know, my fiancé has a list of things that she wants our kids to take so that she can go with them, like learn to play the piano and the guitar you know the list goes on, so I guess it works.

Guy: Well, we’ll see! Well so here we are!

Danny: Yes, here we are, so it’s called the “Enchantment” and it’s about “The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions”. For the benefit of our listeners it’s a red book with an origami butterfly on the cover.

Guy: Yep.

Danny: and there’s actually a really great story about how that butterfly came to be that you share in the book. It’s called the Kawasaki Swallowtail, right?

Guy: Yep. Which is a unique thing.

Danny: So how that came to be?

Guy: Well that came to be because I ran a cover contest using crowd sourcing and the prize for the design I liked the best was the red cover and a blue stock photo butterfly – the butterfly was a blue morpho – and I showed it to my publisher and my publisher said “It’s too self help, too feminine too you know, woo woo west coast, granola, vegetarian and Birkenstocks.” And so after much argument I said, you know, let me give this some thought and I figured out that I’m Japanese and the Japanese have this art called Origami, of which I knew nothing about at the time. So I went to Google and I typed in Origami Butterfly, and I found this most beautiful butterfly, and I contacted the guy who did it and lo and behold, one thing led to another and then he designed me a butterfly called the Kawasaki Swallowtail. So now I have what I think is maybe the most beautiful business book cover in the history of man.

Danny: Well, you had all of your friends and your followers vote on the different variations. And they picked this one.

Guy: Yep

Danny: So it’s not just your opinion. Everyone agrees.

Guy: Well, you know, using the word “everyone” loosely, there are some people who don’t agree. But you know, the people who have to agree, agree, how’s that?

Danny: Fair enough, that works for me. So I’ve got to tell you, when I first picked up the book I was very impressed with the endorsements on the back cover. I mean you’ve got business leaders like Sir Richard Branson and Steve Wozniak, and you’ve got bloggers like Robert Scoble, but the names that really impressed me were Bob Cialdini and Phil Zimbardo, you know the real heavyweight researchers…

Guy: Oh really? Well that’s good!

Danny: I really go in for the, you know, I like the research, I like that it’s based on research, so that’s what sold it for me.

Guy: Oh yeah? You know both of them are my friends, one was my professor at school and the other I have come to know. I hold both of them in the highest regard. So I’m glad I had their blurb!

Danny: Well absolutely, I’ve got tons of respect for their research. Now, I read through the review copy that you sent me, I couldn’t put it down. I got through it in about two days.

Guy: Yeah?

Danny: And it’s a cool kind of mix, it’s sort of a cross between a manual on all the soft skills you need in business and a primer on how to apply the key findings of research in social psychology and behavioral economics. Now that’s a really interesting combination. Where did you get the idea to create that kind of cross in a book?

Guy: Well, first of all you’re giving me too much credit, I mean if you think I sat down and, I mean, I understood about 50% of the terms you just used, so I don’t want you to go away too impressed by the cogent nature of my book. I had a much more tactical approach, so the big influences on the book were Robert Cialdini, because of his book “Influence”, I love that book, Dale Carnegie, because his book has sold, you know for 75 years 15 million copies.

Danny: He must be doing something right.

Guy: And Malcolm Gladwell because I love how Malcolm Gladwell finds all these psychology studies and puts them together and talks about, you know, Tipping and Blinking and you know, this kind of stuff. So I wanted the psychological studies and citations the way Malcolm Gladwell did. But what I think I uniquely added to the mix was, I was not an academic writing about the social psychology of influence, I was not Malcolm Gladwell writing about one thing for two hundred pages. I mean how to tip, or how do people make quick decisions. I’m a business person who happens to read and write, and so the unique angle on my book is, you know Malcolm Gladwell will tell you what you need to do: Tip. But Guy Kawasaki will tell you how to do what you need to do. So my books are always tactical, bullet lists, you know sequential lists, this is what you need to do because I’m trying to appeal to people who are trying to change the world and they need checklists. I mean first you need to say you do this, and then you do this then this then this. They’re not necessarily trying to spend hours getting inspired, they’re probably already inspired.

Danny: For sure, and plus they probably don’t have all that much time to get through a lot of books and academic material. You have a quote at the beginning of the book that I really liked. You know, “people confuse the amount of times it takes to buy a book with the amount of time it takes to learn what’s inside the book”. I certainly have that problem myself!

Guy: Well believe it or not, finding all of those epigrams was a non trivial task. I spent a lot of time looking at quotes to do that. That’s one of the more pleasurable aspects of a book launch.

Danny: It adds a lot of flavor to it. So I’ve got a question. It is a very, I mean you’ve got tons of stuff in there. So how should people go about reading your book? Should it be read cover to cover, which is what I did. Or should it be read a chapter at a time with breaks to digest. I was thinking it might be a good idea to give a copy to everyone in an office and assign a chapter to each person so that everyone comes to a brainstorming or a strategy meeting with a different angle. How would you do it?

Guy: Well that would certainly add sales unless they’re Xeroxing chapters. I don’t know if there’s a right way or a wrong way. You know the concept of sitting down and reading it on one plane flight from Montreal to San Francisco appeals to me. In a sense, the test for a business book: You get on the plane in Montreal, you get off in San Francisco and you call your office or you send an email message saying: “These are the changes I want you to do. I want you to change this practice, pricing, this product, this whatever, because I read this book.” That’s the test for a business book. So this would support the argument of sit down in one read and go for it. I mean, there is a test, but the purpose of the test is not really to score high, but to remind you of key concepts. The concept of going through it slowly and digesting everything is more flattering, but I don’t think that’s really very realistic for most business readers.

Danny: Okay so, a home run with the book would be a transformational plane ride.

Guy: Yes.

Danny: You get on the Plane in Montreal, you get off in San Francisco, you read it and get off then call whoever you need to call and everything is changed for the better.

Guy: I don’t know about everything. That’s a little strong, but you know, at least your smile. At least you double the amount of muscles you use for a smile. How’s that? You see now, Malcolm Gladwell will tell you, he’ll cite two hundred pages of why you need to be likeable, and I’ll give you why you should use two muscles not one.

Danny: Yep, if you smile it will make you more likeable.

Guy: That’s right.

Danny: And there’s a whole long list of why it’s better. It’s better! Let’s leave it at that.

Guy: Yes, trust me!

Danny: So I have a question about the chapter on overcoming resistance. After you discuss the elements of social proof, ubiquity and scarcity, you have a note that I liked.

Guy: Yes.

Danny: You have a note that I liked. You say: “The past three sections provided suggestions that appear inconsistent and downright conflicting. Social proof and ubiquity or scarcity – what’s it going to be? The level of uncertainty and doubt determines what works best.” Now that’s a lot of insight in just one sentence – can you elaborate a little bit on that? You’ve got marketers everywhere trying to strike that balance.

Guy: Well in that chapter about overcoming resistance there are different ways. One way is the iPod way, and the iPod way says: “Oh, everybody has these white gizmos with white ear buds, it must be really good, it’s hip, it’s cool. I’ll go buy an iPod!” So that’s social proof, right? It’s kind of it must be good because everybody is. It’s the kind of social proof that when you drive past a restaurant you want to go to the restaurant where there’s a line of people to go in, not the one where you can be seated immediately.

Danny: I think my fiancée would agree with you. I prefer to be seated immediately.

Guy: Clearly not a foodie! The other side, completely reversed, is that if you very seldom see it you think it’s very exclusive. Image in everyone down the block had a Ferrari. That’s an extreme example but…

Danny: That would be one hell of a nice block!

Guy: It would be, you know what, let’s take that example and say it’s a really well-to-do area in Montreal. So you go down the block and everybody has a Mercedes. So one way to look at it is, it’s social proof. Mercedes must be a good car. The other way that some people will look at it is: “Oh my God, everybody has a Mercedes, I’ll go buy and Audi!” So these two things are completely contradictory. And I’m not trying to convince you that there’s a right way or a wrong way, I’m trying to give you different ways that you can try, and the only right way is the way that works. And I don’t know if you picked it up, but there’s another place that I completely contradict myself where I say “When you give people too many choices it makes them hesitate and not buy stuff.” On the other hand I also cite a Yogurt Bar where there’s ninety-six different toppings and the availability of ninety-six different toppings makes people buy more toppings. So again the question is: “Guy, what is it? Less is more or more is more?”

Danny: So I guess it all depends on the scenario, and on the situation.

Guy: To tell you the truth, in business anyway, a lot of it is, you try various ways and then one way succeeds and you declare victory and you say “Oh yeah, I knew that by increasing choices it would work!”

Danny: At the Yogurt shop.

Guy: Yes, yes. There is an intellectual explanation for that by the way, that you can buy or not. So the intellectual explanation is: If you give people a lot of choices of things that they’re going to live with for a while they hesitate. Because if you had a lot of choices of cars and you know you’re going to be stuck with the car for five years, you’d always be wondering: “If I bought the Prius, didn’t I really want the Mustang? If I bought the Lexus, did I really want a Mercedes? And then I’m stuck with it, so, jeeze, I can’t make a decision.” On the other hand there are things that you’re not going to be stuck with, they’re no big deal, such as a cup of yogurt. So with a cup of yogurt you’d say “It’s going to be five minutes, what do I care? So you know, I put almonds on it, and graham crackers and I put marshmallows. It’s not the end of the world, whatever.” So more choice is good. That’s the intellectual explanation of why sometimes choices can help and sometimes it can hurt.

Danny: That’s great. I think that’s really helpful because, I find at least, it’s those understandings that help in a new situation, which way should I go in terms of strategy?

Guy: Ummhmm. Absolutely. I think the most important part of this is that you should, you should not be a slave to dogma. That you shouldn’t read a book and it’s, let’s say you read a book called “Less Is More” and it’s telling you that you know, you should have simplified product lines, limited offers of colors, limited offers of sizes because people want to have simple decisions. And then you read that book and you say, okay, we’re going to have to simplify our product line. You should consider the opposite. Because, you never know. Listen, I mean, if Apple had failed with the iPod, one thing you could say would be: “Well, you know, Apple offered too many choices. There’s the iPod the iPod Nano, the iPod touch. There is six different colors and each comes in 8, 16, and 32 gigabytes. I mean, there’s probably a couple of hundred different iPods. It’s too many choices! People go to an Apple store and they say: “Blah! I don’t know which iPod to buy” and they buy nothing. Clearly that hasn’t happened, right? So this is another case, where I could build the case… at the time where an entrepreneur has to make a decision, you really don’t know. I could build a case for limited number of SKUs in the iPod line, or I could build a case for four different models, eight different colors, five different memory capacities. You just don’t know, you just have to try.

Danny: And then pay attention and, you know, get data.

Guy: Yes.

Danny: So that raises kind of an interesting question, Our audience at Firepole Marketing is entrepreneurs and Small business owners in the 1-10 employee range, and as you know at that level there’s a huge scarcity of resources and time in which to do things. There’s an anecdote you shared in the book about a tweak to your email signature. Instead of just asking people to visit Alltop.com, you added a line that “if the site is slow or down, please keep trying because we’re getting slammed with traffic.”

Guy: Yes.

Danny: Now what I really like is that you then added that you don’t know if that had any effect, because you were changing a lot of things at the same time and that’s the difference between a well designed scientific experiment and the real world of doing anything to improve results.

Guy: Yes.

Danny: So, how would you advise us, the audience, how to strike that balance, you know, how sure do they have to be that something is really working?

Guy: You know, at the end of the day in business, it’s not about peer review and getting into a scientific journal. You either increase sales, or not. And so, I face this every day with my sites. If you wanted to do something as simple as test which color banner creates more click-throughs, but there are so many other variables to control for. It’s not just the color, it’s the day of the week, it’s the time of day. There’s like fifteen different variables to be able to say, yeah, the red banner gets clicked on more than the blue banner – it’s not so simple. And of course, with business, the clock is always ticking, so in a perfect world, you would try one variable with a truly controlled experiment and then you’d try another, and another. Well, if you tried this in business it would take you a year or so to test your thing, and by then, the market is totally changed. So some of it is just being more pragmatic, and just throwing stuff at the wall, and you know it’s not optimal, but in a sense it is optimal, because I don’t know how else you could do it! Now companies like Yahoo! and Google, where they have millions of people coming to a website every day, they can kind of control things, right? Because they can say: “We controlled for the day of the week, because we did all of the tests on one particular Monday. We controlled for everything because we have so much traffic, we can have so many conditions happening at once, we didn’t have to wait for the following Monday to run a different condition.” But very few people are in that particular place where they can do stuff like that.

Danny: So I guess a big part of it for the rest of us who aren’t Google, is just that we have to also be judicious about what hypotheses we want to be testing.

Guy: Yes. Or, I conflict that, quite the opposite, I say: “Just test a lot of things, and when you find one that works, Hallelujah!”

Danny: Okay. I’ve got something else for you. In that same section where you’re talking about the causes of reluctance, you’re explaining that the most foundational cause for reluctance is maybe their cause sucks. Hopefully that isn’t the case, but in reality is often is. Now I read, just a couple of weeks ago, a great post on Ben Yoskovitz’s Instigator Blog. And he explains that entrepreneurs have to lie to themselves because they’re dealing in such a speculative high-risk area. If they’re honest with themselves about, just the risks and everything, they’d just have to abandon ship, and that’s a hard pill to swallow, because until that point that you’ve really made it big, it’s hard to know what to attribute your struggles to. Is it that you just haven’t made it yet? That you have to keep working on it to get the word out, or is it never going to work because your product sucks. Right, and that’s a fear that most entrepreneurs have in their minds, without wanting to admit to it.

Guy: Yeah, and, I’ll tell you how that works. If you grind it out, and you’re successful, you say: “I knew it was going to be successful.” And if you grind it out and you fail, you’re never heard of again, because people don’t write about failures. I don’t think there’s a way out, because you hear these apocryphal stories about how Fred Smith was down to his last payroll and he bet the last thousand dollars he had and the roulette wheel came up black or red or whatever and he got ten thousand bucks and he was able to make that last payroll and then the following week FedEx turned around, so you know he gutted it out, he was down to the last thousand dollars and blah blah blah. Well, the reason we all know that story is because maybe that’s the only time in the history of man that it happened that way. You don’t hear about the nine million nine hundred thousand companies that failed.

Danny: It would make a much better movie.

Guy: Yeah. So, this is a really great question. You know: how do you know when to call it quits? Because you always hear the story about the guy or the gal who never gave up and it actually worked one day. On the other hand, just statistically, you’ve got to believe that there are lots of people who believed in their companies, but they died. Not the people, I mean the companies died, they failed to reach escape velocity, and so by all measures they should have quit. And how do you know when you’re squeezing the trigger, whether you’re quitting too early or you should keep grinding it out. And the answer to that question is: I don’t know. I don’t think anybody knows. Because no one knows, this is an argument for keeping your costs down as low as possible, never investing in things and hiring people in advance of traffic or revenue. One of the major mistakes during the dot com days was everybody predicted “Oh, you know conservatively speaking, we’re going to double in the next year, we need to prepare for this doubling of traffic, we need to hire people now and have separate locations for backup and extra servers and all this.” And the business never came, so they were stuck with all these people and things that they never should have bought in advance. So one lesson is never buy in advance. For once in my career, I wish I could tell you that I was too conservative, and that a company died because of lack of capital and lack of the willingness to go forward. Boy, for once in my life I would like for an entrepreneur to come to me and say: “You know, the reason why we need capital is because we have to expand so fast because we just cannot keep up with the orders.” I’ve never had that circumstance. I would love to have that problem. That is what we call in Silicon Valley a “High Quality Problem”!

Danny: Well, we would all like to have that problem. And this is a decision that, as a venture capitalist, you’ve got to make this decision, right? You’ve got to look at a situation and it’s ultimately a judgment call of do you pull the plug or do you stick it out for a little bit longer. What informs that decision for you?

Guy: Well, I guess it comes down to: do you like the entrepreneur or not? And I’m saying that in a sarcastic, irrational, whatever emotional thing. I don’t think people approach it with data or great quantitative insights. They approach it with: I like that kid. Give him some money and let him run a little while longer.

Danny: It makes sense because there’s not much to quantify at that point usually. Right?

Guy: Well, other than your losses, no, exactly!

Danny: So what you’re saying is for entrepreneurs is that they should prepare as good a business case as they can, but then they should smile?

Guy: Well, no, it’s not quite that simple. What they should do is they should prepare a business case, and the first thing they should boot is AutoCAD or AutoDesk or Inventor. What they should do is prototype. Build their software, build their restaurant. You know some of this is easy for me to say, I mean, how do you build a restaurant with no money? But I think many, in technology, entrepreneurs say: “’I’ve got an idea. Let me boot PowerPoint.” Or “I got an idea, let me boot Excel and I’ll show that in year three we’ll be doing 500 million dollars.” What they really should be booting is their compiler or their CAD program or something, because today is a very different world in tech entrepreneurship and if you’re starting a social media software, or something, let’s just look at the cost today – alright? Because of the recession, people are cheap or free. You know, that’s callous of me to say it that way, but that’s the truth.

Danny: Well, it’s the reality.

Guy: Yes. People are free or cheap. Marketing: using Twitter or blogs. Cheap or free. Infrastructure: call up Amazon, call up Rackspace, terabytes of data in the clouds, thousand dollars, two thousand dollars. You know the price of one server before –you can have terabytes in the clouds. So hosting and infrastructure is cheap or free. All the tools you want, PHP, Drupal, cheap or free.

Danny: It’s all open source.

Guy: MySQL. Everything you want is cheap or free. If you went to a venture capitalist and said: “I need money to buy tools.” You flunked the IQ test, I mean every tool that you need is free! And so, commercial real estate is much cheaper, but, in fact, do you really need an office? Because it’s probably going to be virtual. Your programmers are going to be around the world, so you may not need an office at all. If you look at this checklist, marketing is cheap or free, people is cheap or free, real estate is cheap or free. I’m painting world where, for a hundred thousand bucks or so, you should really be able to do a great prototype. And so, boot PowerPoint and Excel when you’re trying to raise growth capital. Not when you’re trying to raise capital for creating your first version.

Danny: That’s good advice!

Guy: Eh. We’ll see!

Danny: No, no. From my own start-up days, that’s good advice.

Guy: Well looking back on my own career, I’ve got to tell you, I’ve come to the conclusion that too much money is worse than too little.

Danny: How do you figure?

Guy: Well if you have too much money, all of a sudden you feel like you do need a VP of Biz Dev, because the CEO’s time is too busy to go out and cut deals. You need a VP of Biz Dev to go out there and shuck and jive. Well, I hate to tell you, the CEO of a tech company? You are the Chief Shucker and Chief Jiver. I mean, that’s what you do. You don’t hire a VP of Biz Dev. And so go down the line. Do you have to run this advertisement, do you have to have a $15,000 a month PR person who is going to suck up to the big newspaper’s for you and her or she has a major in Oriental art history from an ivy league school and is now living in Silicon Valley, and you’re effectively getting billed $100 an hour for her to call up the wall street journal to suck up so that you might get a, you know, piece. And all of this, I mean, if you didn’t have this money, you wouldn’t be spending it! It’s not just Herman Miller furniture, it’s all this kind of stuff. And so, if you don’t have money, you figure out a way. If you had all this money you’d pay $2,500 and you’d go to TechCrunch50, or you would go to Launch or Demo, and you would pay them $2,500 to get in, and you’d stay at the Four Seasons for $500 a night because, you know, it’s important to be seen, and to rub elbows. If you don’t have that money, what do you do? You stay Motel 6 and you hang out in the lobby of the hotel, because the lobby of the hotel is public space, right? So you don’t go to the sessions, you hang out in the lobby and the restaurant and you meet the same people for free. So, that’s how to do it.

Danny: Being broke makes you really resourceful and having lots of money creates and appetite to spend.

Guy: Yes, and that’s a more articulate way of saying what I said.

Danny: So, on a bit of a lighter note, something else that you talked about in the book is managing and enchanting employees. And something I really liked was that you should always address your shortcomings first. So an example is: you’re doing a performance review, start by saying how your own screw-ups have contributed to the performance shortcoming.

Guy: Yes. What do you want me to say? I think that’s absolutely necessary.

Danny: I agree with you.

Guy: It sets the tone of the meeting. It is essentially, the message you’re trying to show is “I am not clueless. I realize that it could be my fault too. This is not a one way street.” And that’s very enchanting.

Danny: There is a process that I have come to use, and so I prepare a two by two grid because, well, left over habit from business school.

Guy: Did you work for McKinsey?

Danny: Hah, no. But, you’ve got the two-by-two and in the two columns, you’ve got the employers actions and the employee’s actions, and the rows are created productivity and that prevented productivity. You know, what did I do that helped you to be productive, and what did I do that didn’t help you to be productive, and you too, the employee. And so, I fill it out before the meeting, and I make sure the employee has one too, I make sure they fill it out before the meeting, so basically the meeting is about comparing notes. Is that consistent with what you had in mind?

Guy: I think so yes, because it’s bilateral, right?

Danny: Yeah, exactly, because they’re likely to see things that you don’t.

Guy: It kind of ties in with the concept of a premortem, where you do this for the project.

Danny: Yes, do you want to talk a little more about that?

Guy: Yes. A premortem is something you do, obviously, before something dies, like a postmortem. And the concept of a premortem is you play this exercise where you say: “Let’s pretend the project failed. Let’s come up with the most serious reasons why this project could have failed, and then you can, without, or with much less emotion say well, software is buggy, lousy sales force, insufficient PR, product performance was slow, Microsoft entered the market and gave away a competitor, you know, whatever”. And so you go through his list, and you say “what can we do about unsophisticated sales force, what can we do about Microsoft entering the market”. And so you can go through this and say “these are the hypothetical reasons that we died, what can we do to make sure they remain hypothetical, and they don’t happen, so that we never have to have a postmortem?”

Danny: I thought that was a great idea.

Guy: I copied it from a guy. You know, honestly, you know, writing a book like this – some of it is deciding what to copy.

Danny: I would think a lot of it. I mean, having to think up all of these ideas from scratch, you know, I would be very impressed!

Guy: Well so would I! Arguably, in business books, I don’t think there’s much that has never been said before.

Danny: A lot of it is just saying it in a way that sticks.

Guy: Yeah, so here’s to sticky books!

Danny: Here here. I’ve got one last question for you, then we’ll wrap up, I know you’ve got a lot of things to get to. At the very beginning of the book, in the introduction, you write that seeing a Macintosh for the first time was the second most enchanting moment of your life, and the first most enchanting moment was meeting your wife. That stuck with me for two reasons. The first is that I can absolutely relate. I’m fortunate to be doing work that I really love, but-

Guy: You met my wife?

Danny: I haven’t met your wife, but I’ve fortunately met my fiancé and that’s a whole different class of enchantment. But the second thing is that it really drives home for me that Enchantment isn’t just about business, it’s about people. Is that what you were trying to get across.

Guy: Well, actually not, honestly. What I was trying to get across there is, and this is quite pragmatic, I needed an opening story that would suck people into the book, and with my background, the most logical opening story was the “Aha!” moment that I saw McIntosh for the first time, and that’s why I did it. Your explanation is good, maybe even better, but it would not be the truth. The truth is, I had to open up the book with a story about my personal enchantment. Now, having said that, that’s the opening story of the introduction. The opening story of chapter one is completely different, it’s the story of a peace corps volunteer who enchanted some guerrillas – not the animal kind, but the GUERILLA guerrillas who were going to threaten her in a village in the Philippines and she turned that situation around by enchanting them. I don’t think it would have been as effective for me to have reversed the order, and open up with her story and use my story second, I had to you know, build this credibility in the introduction, that I understand enchantment, and let me tell you why: I have been enchanted.

Danny: Well, you know, case in point, it stuck with me, so.

Guy: Right. That’s right.

Danny: Great job!

Guy: Thank you!

Danny: So Guy, thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview, and I want to wish you tons of success with the launch, which I’m sure is going to be fantastic, because it is a great book.

Guy: Well thank you very much. It’s very gratifying to hear you say that.

Danny: And I’d like to wish you a great night.

Guy: Perhaps the Stanley Cup finals will be the Habs vs. the Sharks. Although you don’t care, so…

Danny: I don’t care, so you know, the Sharks can have it, but our readers are going to fry me for this.

Guy: Okay, well, very nice talking to you, take care, Thank you for doing this so late at night!

Danny: My pleasure. Goodnight Guy!

Guy: Bye bye!

And don’t forget that you can also download the transcript of this podcast.

Danny Iny (@DannyIny, +DannyIny), a.k.a. the "Freddy Krueger of Blogging", is the proud founder of Firepole Marketing. He is the author of the Amazon best-seller Engagement from Scratch! (available on Amazon, or for free in our Engagement Toolbox), and creator of the Audience Business Masterclass.

Comments

  1. Sheraz Butt says

    Great interview Danny!. You were able to get Guy to reveal alot of great insight and it kept me engaged.

  2. BP says

    Great interview! Sounds like the book is filled with practical ideas and some really good business advice. My favorite is (from the interview, haven’t read the book yet) to not be a slave to the dogma and try different things to see what sticks. There are no ‘right’ answers and you have to find your unique own path to success…

  3. BP says

    Great interview! Sounds like the book is filled with practical ideas and some really good business advice. My favorite is (from the interview, haven’t read the book yet) to not be a slave to the dogma and try different things to see what sticks. There are no ‘right’ answers and you have to find your unique own path to success…

  4. says

    Danny, you interviewed Guy Kawasaki. You could officially stop blogging, close down this domain, and be forever happy with just that. I really think this is epic, man. Wow.

    I love how he reverse-engineers a failure event with the premortem approach. It’s also fantastic how Guy likes to deliver actionable content. Not fluffy, inspirational or solely theoretical stuff. Not that any of that is bad, but it’s refreshing to have someone out there advising: “do this..then this..”

    Amazing, thanks!

    • says

      Well, I’m not sure about thaaaat, but I do appreciate the compliment! ;)

      Yeah, Guy really gave us a great interview, with some really good ideas – and the book is full of them (we’re putting up a video tomorrow of a decision-making checklist on page 199, just as another example). :)

  5. Zack Pike says

    “Too much money is worse than too little.” Such a great quote! It’s so easy to find ways to spend money when you have it, when if you didn’t have it you might actually grow faster. Great interview… I’ll have to pickup this book.

    • says

      You’ve got an eye for pulling the best eight words out of a 30+ minute interview! Good call, Zack, it’s definitely worth reading. And watch for the video we’re releasing tomorrow with a decision checklist from the book! :)

  6. says

    I have just listened the entire thing. Haha! both you and guy were hilarious and the story on how guy got the logo was interesting.

    After listening to this, it sounded like a great book to get ideas and implement them. I’ll get the book! :)
    You’re a great interviewer. Next should be Chris Brogan!

  7. says

    Danny, love the idea of forcing people to the list the ways that they waste other people’s time. I can also imagine lots of people immediately justifying those time wasters as necessary, or facts of life or whatever. What has your experience been with that? Are the people acting as time wasters responsive to the process or does it ultimately require a culture wherein the people being under-utilized feel empowered to stand up and say “NO!”?

    • says

      It really does depend on the culture of the organization, and especially, as Guy pointed out, on the *bilaterality* of the process. There are four squares on the grid, and it only works if you use all four (if you’re really only interested in what the employee can be doing better, then it isn’t helpful).

      Speaking from my own experience, using it with my employees, I can say that it works really well, and that employees are a lot more receptive to my input and to examining their own shortcomings when I am open to mine. And in practice, I’ve really found that as much or more correction is required on my end as on theirs (which makes sense – they can auto-correct stuff they are doing, but I don’t have the immediate feedback of knowing that what I’m doing is creating a problem).

      People are responsive, because they aren’t classified as time wasters or not; rather, my employee and myself are both interested in how we can get the best results, and greatest productivity. To that end, we’re *both* interested in continuing things that are helping, and discontinuing things that aren’t.

      That being said, of course, diplomacy and tact are still important – both sides occasionally bristle at the feedback! ;)

      • says

        Very thoughtful answer! I was thinking about it from the perspective of someone in a larger organization trying get buy in from the middle manager types. It makes a lot more sense when the people at the top are modeling the behavior themselves as you describe. And, perhaps that is the answer with regard to larger organizations as well – it would have a much greater chance of success when the people promoting the practice are actively and genuinely modeling it themselves.

        • says

          I agree with you… really, I think that applies to any practice that you want to filter down through an organization – it has to start at the top, and the company’s leadership has to be behind it.

          I’ve been thinking of expanding this idea of the 2×2 matrix into a separate blog post – what do you think?

          • says

            I would definitely be interested in hearing more. Possible directions:

            -What comes up frequently in these discussion? What feedback are people most surprised by or oblivious to?
            -How are some of these issues rectified? What process or arrangement (if any) replaces the time wasting process?
            -What are the big ones that people are most reluctant to call attention to? What are people afraid to call each other on?
            -What do you do if there is a disagreement? (Employee thinks manager is wasting his time, while manager genuinely thinks the given activity is important.) How do you reconcile or negotiate the disagreement?

  8. says

    Great content, super valuable Danny. The idea of a premortem is new to me. Very awesome. I’ve been aware of considering reasons for failure, or why something may go horribly wrong, but never looked at it like this!

    Coming from Guy, this is definitely something I’ll add to my strategies. Dude.. Danny, very awesome stuff my friend. You rocked on this one, this goes down in history! Thanks for this man.

  9. Elizabeth York says

    This was a great interview, Guy is a smart and inspiring guy. I had a chance to chat with him about life dreams, check out what he had to say at my blog: http://www.golifedreams.com/blog/2011/08/life-dream-planning-with-guy-kawasaki-some-things-need-to-be-believed-to-be-seen/

  10. Jean-Luc says

    I’ve just read your article on problogger…
    congratulations for this nice job and thanks for the good advice

  11. says

    Hey Danny,

    Man that was one hell of a darn good interview right there. I think I would have been paralyzed as soon as I heard Guy’s voice coming out from my speakers.

    Just want to tell you that I appreciate you sharing the interview and wow man, you are like a natural born researcher. I would have done a lot less than that (and I thought I was a crazy researcher kind of guy).

    So anyway, congratulations again and hope you keep raising up the bar Danny.

    Sergio

    PS. Just as many people think that in Mexico we all wear cowboy hats, ride donkeys and drink tequila all day long… I also thought that every Canadian loved hockey but I’m sure it must have something to do with stereotypes… I think. lol

    • says

      Thank you, Sergio, that’s very kind of you to say! I was very new at interviewing at the time, so I’m really relieved to hear that you enjoyed it!

      Heh, that’s funny, yeah, it’s all a matter of stereotypes. I should really make it down to Mexico one of these days…

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